Perfectly Made: Celebrating Uniqueness

When we took Preslie in for her eye test three weeks ago, we had virtually zero reason to suspect anything was wrong with her vision. Needless to say, we were beyond shocked when she was diagnosed with a common medical condition called amblyopia, which is where the brain simply "turns off" one of the eyes, forcing the other eye to completely compensate for the "bad eye." In Preslie's case, she has "severe vision loss" in her bad eye, while her good eye works triple time to compensate for her eye that has been disconnected from the brain. While this sounds pretty scary, with the use of "patching," amblyopia is fully treatable. This is news that we rejoice in; however, getting to the result is not an easy process. It involves patching her good eye daily to force her bad eye to reconnect with her brain. The goal is to get her bad eye at the same correction of the good eye to save the good eye and to prevent a permanent lazy eye alongside severe vision impairment or full vision loss in both eyes.

We have spent the last couple of weeks adjusting to glasses (due to her large disparity between lens correction), then this week, we transitioned into wearing the glasses full time.  Today, we started her vision therapy.

Y'all. When I say this small moment of today was difficult, I mean it.  Preslie is our happy-go-lucky, complacent, easily pleased and eager to please, precious child.  I knew she wouldn't love it, but I didn't think it would terrify her as much as it did.  In covering her good eye, we all realized quickly just how severely damaged her bad eye is: she virtually could not see.  Without the use of her good eye, she couldn't tolerate light, couldn't walk straight, nor could she make it down the stairs without assistance.  She cried and she appeared to be visibly tortured as she sighed and groaned in unease and tensed her muscles.  I've never really seen my easy-going little lady this frantic.  It was almost like she was claustrophobic.  She made it 45 minutes, but it was a difficult 45 minutes as her body twisted and turned and anxiety washed over her.   When we removed the patch, she was very quiet, reserved and felt sick to her stomach.  As I reflected on it hours later, I can't help but wonder if that was her first experience with true panic.

While we explained how the patching therapy will reconnect her eye to her brain, it was still a concept a little too complicated for her to understand. I already dread repeating this activity tomorrow (hopefully making to an hour and increasing the time in small increments daily), and the next day, and so on over the duration of the coming months.  Although I remain confident that after a short while, she will adjust to the patch and this will become easy, sometimes I don't want to forget the "bad" because it's the bad that makes the good that much better.

With her permission, I posted this picture.  As our children grow, we must be very careful about which stories about their life we choose to share because it's just that: their life, but she chose to share it because it is her new temporary life and though this patch sends her into panic, she is learning through this patch (alongside a few other struggles she has), that she truly is fearfully and wonderfully made.  Her body is not perfect, but it was made perfectly.  Her uniqueness is beautiful.  

Through this experience, she will go through trials but she will be given the opportunity to learn many lessons:  deeper compassion, strength, endurance, accepting differences, coping with teasing, perseverance, dedication, and so much more.  

Some moments in life are just tough. Today, in the midst of a rough spot, we were given the opportunity to celebrate how we are so wonderfully made; how God crafts our every fiber; how He makes no mistake in our creation; how our uniqueness is made to His perfection, no matter how that may seem to us. Tonight, I go to bed with some painful memories of her reaction that make my eyes sting, but I will rejoice in His goodness and this opportunity to bring my baby closer to Jesus's perfect love. 

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